19276

SOC 101

 Introduction to Sociology

Peter Klein

M  W      1:30-2:50 pm

OLIN 201

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies  Sociology is the systematic study of social life, social groups, and social relations. The discipline views the individual in context of the larger society, and sheds light on how social structures constrain and enable our choices and actions. Sociologists study topics as varied as race, gender, class, religion, the birth of capitalism, democracy, education, crime and prisons, the environment, and inequality. At its most basic, the course will teach students how to read social science texts and evaluate their arguments. Conceptually, students will learn basic sociological themes and become familiar with how sociologists ask and answer questions. Most importantly, students will come away from the course with a new understanding of how to think sociologically about the world around them, their position in society, and how their actions both affect and are affected by the social structures in which we all live.  Class size: 22

 

19277

SOC 120

 Inequality in America

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th    11:50-1:10 pm

HEG 201

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights  Why do some people have more wealth, more power, and receive greater respect than others? What are the sources of this inequality? Is social inequality inevitable? Is it undesirable? Through lectures, documentary films and class discussions, this course examines the ways by which socially-defined class, gender, race and ethnic categories are unevenly rewarded for their social contributions. Sociological theories are used to explain how and why social inequality is produced and maintained, and how it affects the well-being of individuals and social groups. The course will focus on two general themes. The first deals with the structure of inequality while studying the unequal distribution of material and social resources (e.g., social status, wealth, power). The second examines the processes that determine the allocation of people to positions in the stratification system (e.g. educational attainment, social capital, parental wealth, institutional discrimination).   Class size: 22

 

19270

SOC 205

 Intro to Research Methods

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th    3:10-4:30 pm

HDR 106

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights  The aim of this course is to enable students to understand and use the various research methods developed in the social sciences, with an emphasis on quantitative methods. The course will be concerned with the theory and rationale upon which social research is based, as well as the practical aspects of research and the problems the researcher is likely to encounter. The course is divided into two parts. In the first, we will learn how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, how to choose the appropriate research method for the problem, and how to maximize chances for valid and reliable findings. In the second part, we will learn how to perform simple data analysis and how to interpret and present findings in a written report. For a final paper, students use data from the U.S. General Social Survey (GSS) to study public attitudes toward issues such as abortion, immigration, inequality and welfare, affirmative action, gender roles, religion, the media, and gun laws.  By the end of the semester, students will have the necessary skills for designing and conducting independent research for term papers and senior projects, as well as for non-academic enterprises.  Admission by permission of the instructor.  Class size: 15

 

19271

SOC 213

 Sociological Theory

Laura Ford

 T  Th    4:40-6:00 pm

OLIN 201

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Human Rights This class introduces students to classical and contemporary sociological theories. It considers foundational theories that emerged from the social upheavals of modernization in the 19th Century, including those of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, and DuBois. The course thus introduces many enduring themes of sociology: alienation and anomie; social structure and disorganization; group conflict and solidarity; secularization and individualism; bureaucracy and institutions, the division of labor, capitalism, and the nature of authority. We then follow these conversations into the contemporary era, examining traditions such as functionalism, conflict theory, rational choice, symbolic interactionism, feminist theory, and critical theory, including thinkers such as G.H. Mead, Robert Merton, Pierre Bourdieu, Jürgen Habermas, and Michel Foucault. Students will learn the key concepts of major theoretical approaches in sociology, and will consider questions such as the relationship between theory and research, and the relationship of social conditions to the production of knowledge.  Class size: 22

 

19272

SOC 224

 Punishment, Prisons, and Policing

Allison McKim

M  W      3:10-4:30 pm

OLIN 202

SA

D+J

SSCI

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies; Human Rights This course introduces students to the sociology of punishment and crime control. The amount and type of punishment found in society is not a simple, direct result of crime patterns. Rather, to understand how and why we punish, we must examine the ways that historical processes, social structures, institutions, and culture shape penal practices as well as how systems of punishment shape society. This course draws on sociological and historical research to explore the social functions of punishment, its cultural foundations and meanings, what drives changes in how we punish, the relationship between penal practices and state power, and the role of crime control in reproducing race, gender, and class inequality. The class also delves deeply into the theoretical and empirical debates about the punitive turn in American criminal justice over the last 4 decades. We consider the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, the racial disparities in the system, the drug war, changes in policing, the politicization of crime, and the role of criminal justice in the welfare state.  Class size: 22

 

19273

SOC 262

 Sexualities

Allison McKim

M  W      11:50-1:10 pm

OLIN 204

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights  Although sexuality is often considered to be inherently private and individual, this course examines sexuality as a social phenomenon. It looks at the social organization of sexuality and at how these arrangements shape people’s experiences and identities. We consider why/how patterns of sexuality have changed over time, how the social control of sex operates, and how new categories of sexuality emerge. We ask how people use sexuality to define themselves, reinforce social hierarchies, mark moral boundaries, and produce communities. The course begins with an introduction to theories of sexuality, including the essentialist-constructionist debate, the relationship of gender and sexuality, and the role of power. We unpack these theoretical questions through the history of sexuality in the United States. The course pays special attention to the role of gender, race, and class; to changing economic structures; and to the influence of medicine, the state, and popular culture. This provides a basis for looking at contemporary sexual politics, changing ideas of intimacy, and feminist debates about prostitution and pornography.

Class size: 22

 

19275

SOC 332

 Seminar on Social Problems

Yuval Elmelech

  W         1:30-3:50 pm

RKC 200

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Human Rights  We often read alarming stories about segregated and failing schools, the increasing concentration of wealth, the weakening of the American family, and numerous other problems in contemporary American society. While these accounts provide a sensational and superficial treatment of various social problems, what do researchers really know about the causes of and solutions for these problems? This course provides a critical survey and analysis of the varied social and structural factors that facilitate and help perpetuate social problems in the U.S. Topics include: schools and education; wealth and poverty; racial and ethnic inequality; residential segregation; immigration and mobility; gender inequality; work and socioeconomic attainment. The course will also provide framework for developing the skill of academic writing, and the appropriate use of theories, research questions and hypotheses. In particular, this seminar will serve social science majors and other advanced students who are developing their research and writing skills for term papers and senior projects.   Fulfills American Studies Junior Seminar requirement.  Class size: 15

 

19274

SOC 347

 theorizing facebook: Morality, Technology, and Social Networks

Laura Ford

M           4:40-7:00 pm

OLIN 201

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Science, Technology, Society  In this course we will seek to understand social media, as social and moral phenomena.  Each week we will “theorize” social media from a different perspective, seeking new sociological insights into social media-related “spaces,” and into the ways that morality, ethics, and politics are enacted within such spaces.  After initially situating one technological platform for social media (Facebook) in its historical and legal context, we will expand our inquiry and seek answers to the following types of questions.  What are social networks, and how do they work?  How do the technical controls (e.g. friend suggestions) and institutional frameworks (e.g. corporate business models and intellectual property laws) of social media impact qualities and characteristics of social interaction?  How might this matter for social movements relying on social media?  Do social relationships and communities work differently, when they are formed through social media?  How might we affect normative orders of truth-telling and justice in the ways that we use (or don’t use) social media?  Note: This course is part of the Courage to Be College Seminar, affiliated with the Hannah Arendt Center.  Students will be required to attend three evening lectures.  There will also be dinner discussions with guest speakers and other sections of the College Seminar.  For more information: http://hac.bard.edu/ctb/   Class size: 20

 

 

Cross-listed courses:

 

19335

HIST 213

 Immigration:American Politics

Joel Perlmann

 T  Th    11:50-1:10 pm

OLIN 205

HA

D+J

HIST

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies; Human Rights; Sociology

 

19368

PS 109

 Political Economy

Sanjib Baruah

M  W      10:10-11:30 am

OLIN 308

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Sociology

 

19094

PSY 220

 Social Psychology

Kristin Lane

M  W      3:10-4:30 pm

OLIN 201

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Sociology